Starting Anew

Sounds familiar Cyrax. My father too had a small construction business. I used it to pay my way through college. Great money for a ~20 year old. So much so that after college I just stuck with Dad's business after I graduated. Next thing I know, I'm 25/26 years old and I'm still doing construction (the labor, the bookkeeping, the estimating, etc.). My heart wasn't in it though.

A girl I was dating at the time gave me the kick in the butt I needed and I decided to go into computers since I was so into gaming and tweaking my computers. I signed up for an MCSE track course and was taking classes at night. I took the tests and passed and received my MCSE. Literally the last house I worked on with my father was owned by a guy who was the MIS Director for a fairly large sized corporation. Talking with this guy during the length of the job, I told him I had received my MCSE and he said he needed a guy like me (he really liked my work ethic on the job) and asked me to come interview. I interviewed for 2 hours and they made me an offer the next day. Through the years I ended up working for some fairly large corporations (Volvo, Amano, etc.).

Now I no longer work in I.T. (I parlayed my college degree into getting an engineering degree) and am a Manufacturing Engineer but getting that kick in the butt and just getting out there was the biggest step. Making changes and pursuing my goals has been easy peasy ever since.

To be totally honest, I think I was just too immature in my twenties to really leverage my father's company to my advantage. I have a cousin that lives on the other side of the state that knew less about construction than me and now has a multi-million dollar construction company. If I had looked at my situation through different lenses, I might be in a similar situation to my cousin. Hindsight is always 20/20 though.

In the end, as a homeowner, I regard my construction knowledge as my most valuable education. I can fix anything on my house and recently have built a nice deck on the back with a covered grilling station. Remodeled my basement and put in a french drain. Now it's a huge playroom for my kids. Next on the list is to remodel all 3 bathrooms, a chimney repair and a new roof. I'll save tens of thousands on labor for these projects.

I'd say if you're really tired of it like I was, you just need to give yourself a boot in the butt. Find something you've always had interest in and pursue it. Or heck, go for something new. Talk to people. Get information to make better decisions. This may sound nuts but let's say you wanted to be a design engineer. Go to a company that manufactures things. Walk in, ask to talk to the Controller or someone in charge, and tell them you are pursuing a career change and was wondering if you could talk to a design engineer for a few minutes. I doubt you will get turned down unless the person is a total knob and you might even get asked for contact information for a possible interview should you end up getting a certification/degree in engineering.

I would actually advise AGAINST moving out. Too much major change can overwhelm you and torpedo your dreams. Just take it slow. You're actually in a GREAT position staying at home because your bills are most likely very few. Use this opportunity to SAVE, SAVE, SAVE while you pursue your career change. Pour all your attention and energy (and money) into establishing a foundation for your new career, whether it be a degree or certification or something else.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best. You've taken the first step by deciding you want a change. The rest will be easy once you find yourself actually on the path you've decided to take, with complete pride in the fact that you are controlling your own destiny.

cyrax wrote:

Time for an update almost a month later. Fortunately for my pleasure, but unfortunately for my dedication, I had a bit of time off in the weeks following my last post. My co-worker had surgery, so I got a few days off. Then, the next week I don't think I had to work a day, just odd jobs if anything. I spent all my time reading articles, forums, and twitter, watching videos, and playing games. I lost my drive. Honestly, that's what always occurs a short while after I put my mind to something.

After falling off the wagon hard, I'm ready to stand back up. I had a 10 hour day on Tuesday, sitting in a Bobcat most of the time, I had a nice flash back to reality and what's important. I told my dad that since he needed me the next day, it was going to be my last. I spent Thursday perusing job and relocating sites, in which I found that no game company advertises for internships. Of course it won't be that painless. Friday was goof off day, even though I constantly told myself otherwise. Later in the day, I got inspiration from the unlikeliest of sources, the Spike VGAs. No, their original content didn't do it for me. Rather, it was the celebration of games, future and past, that got me emotional. I love this medium. So what if it's going to be hard, at least it's something I look forward to striving toward.

That's my goal and I'm sticking to it. I want to work in the space, but I need to find my strengths. My first step is to make a game. Not too big a step given the tools of today, but quite time consuming. I think it's necessary for me to prove to myself what I'm capable of, and test out what I like. I used last weekend to try and develop in Stencyl, but around my 3rd roadblock I couldn't find a solution, so I stopped working. I'm going to be better at asking for help, which is to say more than none.

Thanks to CY's Hug Marine articles, I've got the software downloaded I'll use, and I even setup my own website (Wordpress!). Putting rubber to road, I'm going to make my game in 48 hours, challenged by Indie Speed Run. Motivation! To make a long post shorter, I'll end by saying follow me on Twitter and Upgraded Life, my blog. Networking!

Nice, get moving and keep moving.

Here's my postmortem of the game jam.

Once again, thanks for all the well wishes and support.

I hope you continue to post how things are going. I'm certainly curious about how life is treating you as you make huge changes in your life.

I think the appropriate phrasing here would be "when I make changes." The why for my procrastination is something that needs dealt with, but I think a good bandage is to make a schedule and stick with it. I've found that a regimen has been a good motivator in the past, and I need to just think about my future and how not to waste time to that end when I get in a funk. Also, time seems unmanageable when I'm being unproductive.

I have no schedule or plan, so a little time spent doing this, or that, doesn't seem to matter. But in the big picture, those little distractions add up to most of my "productive" day.

As an aside, I'm starting to feel guilty about living on their dime and not working for my Dad, which had been normalcy. It's a fair notion, but it brings me down all the same. Somewhat relevantly, my Mom had surgery a few weeks ago and got time off her job until the Christmas break. I'll just out and say she's a bitch, and a main reason for the strife on my side of the family. Anything she can say negative, she relishes. She's been occasionally giving me negative thoughts, and while I've learned to brush those off my shoulder, there's truth behind the callousness.

I'll try to mark my time use for tomorrow, tonight. I'll also add another post sharing my thoughts for the future, which I hope I can do in a timely fashion. (Hah!) And thanks for the post demonbox, it makes me feel great that people still care, and it gives me great motivation.

As far as living on their dime, maybe pick up an alternative job in the meantime?

I don't mind it enough to prolong my time here. I want my mind fully on the future, which is why I originally stopped working. I don't have enough time left tonight to write the post I need to, so I'll probably have a monstrous one written sometime tomorrow. Right now, the thought is to make a plan and write it without outside stimuli which so frequently side-tracks me. I'll make a blog out of it, and that should give me some notion about what I could be looking at professionally. As for relocation, that's bag of worms, but I think I'll be more excited than nervous about that process (initially).

Now to make an outline for tomorrow.

cyrax wrote:

Somewhat relevantly, my Mom had surgery a few weeks ago and got time off her job until the Christmas break. I'll just out and say she's a bitch, and a main reason for the strife on my side of the family. Anything she can say negative, she relishes.

This is like an episode of twilight zone. Apparently we have the same mother too.

Keep your eyes on the goal and, "get sick and tired of being sick and tired."